In this special Ask the Expert episode, Diana Rodriguez-Zaba, president of ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba serving Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, shares her story and insights. She is the winner of R&R’s seventh annual Women in Restoration Award and rose to the top of an impressive list of 46 nominees. All nominations were reviewed by a panel of judges based on journey and experience in the industry, job growth and future reach, industry and community involvement, and awards and certifications. 

Watching and helping people evolve is Rodriguez Zaba’s passion. “I feel like I need to lead my team, but I have to develop my team so they can be leaders,” she says. “That’s what I do. I build leaders so they can continue to lead. Then I show them, ‘You’re amazing. You’re great. You need to take this other person and show them how to be like you.’ And that builds their confidence. …I would say I’m a transformational leader.”

To learn more about Rodriguez-Zaba, our first- and second- runners up, and this year’s Women in Restoration Award judges, read the cover story of our April 2022 eMagazine. (hyperlink to the April feature article)

This episode covers:

  • Rodriguez-Zaba’s current objectives and day-to-day responsibilities as president of ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba
  • Her impressive list of accomplishments
  • How and why she joined the restoration industry, beginning with an entrepreneurial journey in real estate at the age of 18
  • Rodriguez-Zaba’s specialty areas and favorite aspects of the work she does
  • Her most memorable project
  • Her ability to substantially grow her business during historically challenging times, including the Great Recession and COVID-19 pandemic
  • Helping her employees grow and feel valued through one-on-one interactions, career plans and benefits
  • Building awareness of the restoration industry and opportunities within it among high-school-aged girls she mentors through the Step Up program
  • Supporting the growth of industry stakeholders with a brand-new training facility
  • Helping fellow women start-ups across industries find success
  • The biggest career lesson she has learned
  • Advice to other underrepresented individuals looking to advance as she has in restoration, as a woman and Latina
  • How she spends her time outside of business ownership 

Check out this episode of Ask the Expert to learn more. You can watch the video here or listen to the audio version of our conversation here. You can also find our show on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Just search for Restoration & Remediation Ask the Expert, then hit Follow

Keep your eyes open and ears peeled for nominations to reopen for next year’s Women in Restoration Award in late 2022!